21171-presidents-congolais-joseph-kabila-rwandaisOn 12 August 2016, President Kabila conducted a one-day visit to Rwanda, meeting his counterpart Paul Kagame in the neighbouring city Rubavu.

A communiqué issued by the Rwandan presidency at the end of the visit indicated that the two Heads of State exchanged on strengthening economic cooperation between the DRC and Rwanda. Kabila and Kagame “exchanged on several topics regarding mutual interest and agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of cross-border trade and energy, specifically in the extraction of methane gas in Lake Kivu”, the communiqué stated. Emphasis was put on the production of electricity from the methane gas in Lake Kivu, a natural resource Rwanda and the DRC share.

It was agreed that the Joint Technical Team will begin its work before the end of August 2016. It should be noted that Rwanda launched the KivuWatt Power Plant which generates 26MW of electricity from methane gas extracted from the Lake Kivu. However, the DRC has not yet started producing electricity from Lake Kivu methane.

On security, both presidents commended the progress so far achieved “in line with eradicating negative forces and the importance of establishing a strong mechanism for the timely sharing of intelligence”.

The Rwandan Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) negative forces have been operating the DRC since fleeing Rwanda in 1994 following the genocide. The Movement of March 23 (M23) have on the other hand found refuge in Rwanda after

Both heads of state were accompanied by their respective delegations that comprised Alexis Tambwe Mwamba, DRC Minister of Justice, Atama Tabe, DRC Minister of Defence and Martin Kabwelulu, DRC Minister of Mines and Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, James Musoni, Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure and Germaine Kamayirese, Rwandan Minister of State in charge of Energy at the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Kabila and Kagame vowed to make the “efforts for the revitalisation of bilateral relations, including the enhancing of diplomatic relations between Rwanda and the DRC”, the communiqué concluded.

Kabila’s visit to Rwanda comes only a week after the Congolese president met his Ugandan counterpart and discussed security issues related to the ADF.